Jack Cullen says he was ‘garbage’ in first Zak Chelli fight and vows to win rematch | Boxing News

Jack Cullen says he was ‘garbage’ in first Zak Chelli fight and vows to win rematch | Boxing News

Jack Cullen says he was “absolutely garbage” in his first fight against Zak Chelli but has vowed to move on to ‘bigger and better’ titles by winning their rematch.

Cullen defends his British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles against Chelli on the undercard of Natasha Jonas’ world title fight with Mikaela Mayer this Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

The pair will clash for the second time after a 2020 contest ended in a controversial draw, with Chelli insisting that he deserved to receive the decision.

But Cullen told Sky Sports: “I’ve watched it back and I’m not going to lie, I was terrible! I was absolutely garbage.

“Compared to the fighter I am now and compared to where I was four years ago, I’m a totally different fighter. You’ll see that on Saturday night on fight night. Let’s get past Zak Chelli first, then we’ll be moving on to bigger and better things.”

Cullen stopped Mark Heffron in devastating fashion last time out to win the British and Commonwealth belt and the 30-year-old is determined to move past domestic level sooner rather than later.

“It was great winning the British and Commonwealth title. I want to get a defence or two defences of it, and I want to look for bigger and better titles,” he said.

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Cullen did not react kindly to Chelli hinting that he was getting old and would lose his belts on Saturday night

“Winning a British title, that’s not the end for me in my mind. As good as I am, I want to go further, I want to climb the ladder.

“I’m not letting go of the titles. I’ve trained all over Christmas and New Year. I’ve put some serious hours into this camp, some serious sparring. We’ve done everything so I’m ready for a good fight on Saturday night.”

Cullen’s trainer Michael Jennings will be an important factor in the bout, having guided another of his fighters – Mark Jeffers – to victory over Chelli already last year.

Despite entering the fight as an underdog, Jeffers did enough to earn a surprise unanimous decision win over Chelli, who had been on a seven-fight unbeaten streak.

Zak Chelli
Chelli suffered his second professional loss at the hands of Mark Jeffers

Although he wasn’t in Cullen’s corner when he initially took on Chelli back in 2020, Jennings is confident his man has the tools to dispose of the challenger with ease.

“In the first fight with Jack, I was watching the fight on TV at home. I was screaming at the TV thinking, ‘I know what you need to be doing here but you’re not doing it’,” he said.

“He was backing Chelli up and stepping off and not carrying on with any shots that he can throw. I think we know exactly what we need to do to win.”

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Hear from Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer as they go head to head for their welterweight world title fight on Saturday

Since losing to Jeffers, Chelli has bounced back with a knockout win over Jordan Grannum in his last fight at York Hall.

However, Jennings still sees weaknesses in the 26-year-old and is optimistic Cullen can pounce on any mistakes.

“He doesn’t seem to change much in any of his previous fights,” he said. “We’ve just worked on the same shots Zak throws. Jeffers had the sharpness to capitalise on the openings that he was leaving after he threw his shots.”

Watch Jonas vs Mayer live on Sky Sports Arena at 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event at 8pm this Saturday. Stream boxing on Sky Sports with NOW

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